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Angeles University Foundation HS batch of 1997
Valedictory Address
Abegail S. Gonzales
- Class Valedictorian -
Abegail S. Gonzales

Yes, ten long years. Ten long years of struggle, to attain what I have become now, to stand, amidst many barriers, along the first step of my pedestal toward the zenith --- towards the initial pace of my pursuit to higher education.

This night, marks the night of achievement and a crowning glory of intellectual struggle over a period of laborious search for truth and enlightenment.

You and I, the graduates of this great university, are now endowed with knowledge --- and everlasting attribute of valuable treasure of intellect; a badge of freedom from the dark cave of ignorance.

Our young faces are bright with optimism and eagerly looking toward s the future for greater accomplishments. Yes, graduation always evokes this mingle emotion of successful fulfillment and deserving sense of pride for a task well done.

Graduation has always been both a happy and sad experience in one's life. It stands for a glorious achievement one has done. Yet, it also means the end of many joys and pains, the many trials and challenges, the many laughters and tears of our high school life.

Some may be wondering why graduation ceremonies are also called commencement exercises. Graduation marks the end of a course, while commencement means the beginning. Is it possible that the end means the beginning? Is it contingent that the two antithetical words could mean the same thing?

The explanation is quite simple. For graduation is the end of a course and a commencement the start of either another course or of something else --- perhaps a career.

It is like twilight that marks the end of day and the beginning of night, or like the dawn that marks the end of night and the beginning of the day. For life and everything material around us begin and end, and the beginning of one, marks the end of another in the ceaseless march of time.

In our studies, the end of the elementary course is the beginning of high school, and the end of one's high school life is the beginning of a more complex world of college life.

Sad we may be, but there is one graduation, one commencement exercise that must come to every one of us. Hence, all graduations in this life are leading to and are preparations for a last and final commencement, just as every step of the stairs leads up to the threshold, or like curtains that open as we walk through them, one after the other, until the final one is reached, which opens to a magnificent vista of unending horizon.

We now stand at the threshold of a new world, a world of competition and cooperation, failures and success. With undaunted courage, we take another step toward our improvement. Nothing is left of the past four years except a memory of days bygone. Soon, the memory will be just a blurred vision of something wonderful in our past.

The unselfish effort of our Alma Mater served as our inspiration in pursuit of our high school diploma --- our stepping stone to a higher education of every chosen career.

For all of these, we are indebted to our hardworking and devoted teachers, who are the masters of their own field in the teaching profession, imparted to us are the priceless knowledge and the valuable experiences, we'll cherish, we'll keep and we'll bring as our shield and weapon in pursuing our endevors.

Ilang taon na nga ang ginugol natin --- sa ilan --- ng buong pagsisikap --- nakalulungkot mang isipin --- sa marami --- ng walang pagsasaalang-alang. At ngayon, sa di nalalayong hinaharap --- kanya-kanya na nating tatahakin ang bawat landas na ating pinili.

"Tama, ito nga ang itinakdang araw ng ating paglisan --- paglisan sa mga pambatang katuwaan --- paglisan sa mga murang kaisipan --- paglisan sa isang bagong mundong huhulma sa bawat guhit ng ating palad --- mundong hindi tumatanggap ng pagbabakasali't pagwawalang bahala --- isang mundong walang biro."

"Punong-puno tayo ng mga pangarap. Maraming gustong makamtan --- maraming gustong maabot."

Whatever we become --- our achievements --- our victory --- the future we dream to have --- we offer them to these people, who many times --- we hurt and fail.

Sa maraming pagkakataong ating pinalampas, sa mga luhang ating pinaagos sa kanilang mga mata dahil sa pagbabalewala --- at sa mga pasakit nilang ating pinagwalang-bahala --- sila na walang hinagad kundi ang mga bagay na makapagdudulot ng saya at gaan para sa ating maganda't maluwalhating kinabuikasan, na walang araw at gabing pinalampas para lamang tustusan ang ating pag-aaral --- puhunan nila ay pawis at dugong nais ipunla maibsan lamang ang ating mga pangangailangan --- sila ang ating pinakamamahal na magulang."

I myself witnessed the very noble deed that lives within each and every parent

I was only in grade six when I lost my dad. He missed my elementary graduation as so as this one. He who taught me to stand every time I fall --- that comes more often. Nevertheless, I have my mom. And I'll shout out on top of every mountain to tell the whole world how lucky I am to have such a mother. She's the bravest woman who is beyond compare.

Being a mother of three as well as being a father at the same time is not a cent worth task. She has been "everything" one could ever want and one, even I, may not deserve. Yet, God has given me. Taking this very opportunity mom, my gratitude is inexpressible through words.

The place where I could always go home to - my sister, my brother, my family. To you I am indebted as well.

To my best friend, who in so many ways had uplifted the fearful wanderer that I was and from there triumphed. You added meaning to my being.

To my true friends, who stood beside me all throughout --- not only in fair weathers but in the worst times as well, I could never have a day without you.

And to you dad, wherever you may be, I made history to be the first in the family one in the family, to you I give back the glory.

To you my fellow graduates, as we finally leave the premises of this high school, time has come to step up for the second challenge in our pursuit of education. For I firmly believe, only proper and higher learning can uplift each and everyone of us to be a better citizen, to be an asset in the community and to be the envisioned leaders of our country and our fellowmen.

We expect to pass through this life only once. What the future holds we cannot tell. Time is a vital factor.

"Marami tayong mga pagkukulang --- una as ating sarili at higit sa lahat, sa ating mga magulang. Ngunit hindi pa huli ang lahat upang punan ang mga ito."

Let us not defer therefore nor neglect this challenge we are about to face for we may never have this same opportunity we behold in our hands and we shall never pass this way again.

Fear we should not for god has given us this achievement to start with and had been with us in our journey since the very beginning and all throughout until the very end. To him we give back this splendor.

In closing, may I say farewell after four long years of sweet and memorable association, but go we must, for our stay in this institution is over, though more rewarding adventure in life.

To our beloved mentors, a grateful heart now bids adieu; to our Alma Mater, the Angeles University Foundation from whose fountain of knowledge we have imbibed deeply, a found farewell.

We shall go our different ways but wherever we are, the memory of our great Alma Mater will spur us to greater achievement.

Abegail S. Gonzales
Class Valedictorian

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